Harrogate NHS warns residents not to drink 'excessively' this Christmas


The NHS in the Harrogate District is urging local people not to go overboard during the Christmas and New Year period and put unnecessary strain on local health services.

Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust have asked people to remember the potential consequences about drinking to excess, and to look after one another.

Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents and the Trust said that the problem grows during the festive season when drinking often plays a big part in celebrations with family and friends.

As more people get together socially, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to unwanted or unplanned consequences.

Dr Matt Shepherd, Lead Consultant for the Emergency Department at Harrogate District Hospital, said: “The Emergency Department is for genuine emergencies only.

“Avoidable attendances at the Emergency Department mean longer waits for those patients who really do need care, as well as extra pressure on our staff throughout the Trust.

“We absolutely don’t want to stop people celebrating and having fun – we’ll be doing exactly that over the coming weeks ourselves – but we are asking people to look after themselves.

“Drink plenty of water or soft drinks and be aware of your limits. Please don’t end your evening out with a trip to see us!

“Looking after yourself and knowing the most appropriate places to access healthcare is really important all year round.

“In recent weeks we’ve been busier as winter starts to bite and those people who don’t require accident or emergency services should consider other options first, such as calling NHS 111 or visiting their pharmacist.”